I was planning to leave this review until nearer Christmas but I am desperate to shout about this book and the fact this was my first experience of reading a Rachel Dove novel.
As a Yorkshire lass myself and someone who spent MANY a family holiday in Bridlington during her youth, you can imagine my reading delight when I found out that this book was set in Bridlington. My brain did try to take me back down memory lane with my Dad taking an ENTIRE DAY to drive from Leeds to Bridlington (it’s not that far) in a cramped family car, with NO air con, squabbling with my sister in the back about who was going to eat the most seaside rock (a seaside sugary treat) and being forced to listen to my father’s odd guitar music, but luckily Rachel’s opening chapter chased all that away. Nice one, Rachel!
Secondly I will say that…I am not a huge fan of Christmas either so I was instantly drawn to heroine Summer…who actually kicks a Christmas tree in the FIRST chapter. Now before all the Christmas tree fans of my blog readership cry out with dismay, no Christmas trees were actually hurt in the making of this book. To calm down all the Christmas lovers of my blog readership, this book, by Rachel Dove did cause a THAW in my cold dislike of Christmas!
Here’s the blurb:
Summer Hastings hates Christmas. She loves sunshine, the beach and running her travel agency, sending people off to their dream destinations – even if she doesn’t get to see the world for herself. For Summer, Christmas is nothing but a reminder of all the things that have gone horribly wrong in her life, so when handsome Noel Pritchett moves his pop-up Christmas shop in the store next to hers, Summer is livid.
Noel loves Christmas…and he also has a sneaking suspicion that he might be falling in love with Summer, if only he could break through the armour she has surrounded herself with. Just why does Summer hate Christmas so much? And can Noel be the one to prove to her that life can be sweet all year round?
Here’s my review:
This book Summer Hates Christmas has the perfect love / hate relationship. Summer and Noel’s relationship did make me laugh. These two flit from pleasant conversations to banter to full scale bickering. They reminded me a lot of the interactions between me and my loved one – sigh! Summer and Noel were a lovely comedy duo right from the start.
Summer suddenly had an image of Noel, years from now, selling his wares from the front of his shop, zimmer frame whooshing around whilst she watched in horror from the comfort of her mobility scooter.
I am going to say Noel has made it onto my Hot Fictional Male Character List for 2019. He’s sweet, sensitive, very funny AND from LEEDS! Thank you, Rachel for Noel. I thought he was adorable and he can sort me out a breakfast of champions anytime.
The stand out was that this read like a realistic romance because it happened against a backdrop of other emotional issues. When you fall in love with someone, other areas of your life, which are already broken or on a downward trajectory don’t pause for a few months so that you can enjoy some heart fluttering, sweaty palm moments. Oh no! Real heart wrenching life carried on around Summer and Noel while they were trying to hide their lustful feelings for each other. I also thought Rachel handled the other sensitive issues really well.
I’m actually looking forward to Christmas this year 🙂
Full marks to Rachel for the North Eastern coastal town setting, the banter, the hilarious bickering about Christmas, characters dealing with other stuff in their lives and the ENDING. I won’t say but I thought this was fab.
If you fancy checking out this book click here.
Think I might add another Rachel Dove novel to my Christmas list 😍